Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Where do ideas come from?

You never know. Last night I was overtired, lying in bed with kids who wouldn't quite settle into sound sleep, and suddenly, I felt a novel coming on. Just like that. Like you feel a headache or a cold coming on.

I was actually excited about that because I haven't been doing much by way of creative writing for a long time.

Before long, I gave up on snuggling my baby to sleep and rolled over on my back. Laying there, I realized my back was stiff. Everything was stiff and achy. And I suddenly felt like my right ankle was hurt (even though it wasn't), and then--BAM--there was the novel. Complete basic plot in my mind.

I couldn't get up and work on it right then. Dawn was coming on, and babies were getting even more restless instead of more sleepy. So I lay there and composed entire scenes in my mind--opening and closing, plus the second opening (it's one of THOSE novels). It is the second or third book in the Maggie series. If you're new to this blog (like, you joined us more recently than 2007), you probably need to know this: Maggie is a character I have in my only series for adults (it's momlit)--she's a stay-at-home mommy of several who retired as a top-level spook in the CIA to raise her family. Think James Bond, only smarter, female, LDS, and retired with a handful of small children and a husband who is a professional magician. So far (at least in my mind and notes), she has been pulled out of retirement to stop a dirty bomb that was cleverly concealed and intended to create a war between the US and Russia (I know, the plot's been done before--but you won't ever have seen it with this twist), saved Las Vegas from terrorists using a 60-year-old virus and a rainmaker, and used her husband's skills as a magician to save him from joining her arch-enemies (that one while pregnant). This new adventure fits in after she saves Las Vegas but before she rescues her husband. Again, there is no new plot in spy fiction, so if I tell you the basic plot, you'll say, "Tired. Old. Done before." Sure. Lots of times. Ever watched Hitchcock? But the charm and appeal is in the characters and the telling, and in the twists. So there you have it--no information until I have a rough draft written!

Anyway, that's where the ideas come from.

Outer space and a kick in the kidneys.

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